GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — The husband-and-wife owners of several Maryland liquor stores have pleaded not guilty to their alleged roles in a scheme to sell untaxed alcohol and cigarettes.

Amrick and Ravinder Melhi of Clarksville were arrested as part of a sweeping corruption probe in Prince George’s County. The investigation also led to the arrests of County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie.

Federal prosecutors have said that there’s evidence the Melhis bribed public officials in exchange for favors, although they have not been charged with bribery. They’re accused of paying police officers to guard the transportation of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol. They pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court in Greenbelt.

Amrick Melhi remains detained pending trial, while Ravinder Melhi was released to home detention.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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